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Washington CNN  — 

After months of legal battles, infighting between defense lawyers and dozens of rejected mistrial motions, the federal criminal trial against five Proud Boys accused of plotting to attack the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, moved to its final stage Monday.

One prosecutor and two defense attorneys gave their closing arguments to the Washington, DC, jury tasked with deciding whether Enrique Tarrio, Dominic Pezzola, Zachary Rehl, Joseph Biggs and Ethan Nordean are guilty of several federal crimes, including seditious conspiracy.

The Justice Department’s Conor Mulroe argued that the defendants stirred fellow members of the far-right Proud Boys toward violence in the lead up to January 6 and directed them that day to attack the iconic building.

Attorneys for Nordean and Rehl repeatedly said that the mountains of evidence only showed vulgar, stupid messages from their clients and violence from others in the crowd on January 6 – none of which amounted to the seditious conspiracy charge their clients face.

All five of the defendants have pleaded not guilty. Closing arguments are expected to continue into Tuesday.

DOJ: ‘The Capitol was the focus from the start’

In the lead-up to January 6, Mulroe argued, the defendants were infuriated by then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss and began calling for revolutionary action to oppose the incoming administration.

“The founders of this country fought to create a nation where the leader is chosen by the will of the people and power is handed over peacefully following a process of law,” Mulroe said. “These defendants saw themselves as Donald Trump’s army, fighting to keep their leader in power no matter what the law or the courts had to say about it.”

Mulroe showed the jury countless messages and videos the defendants sent to one another in the weeks and months before the attack, calling for violence against politicians, police and left-wingers, arguing the five men “had been thirsting for violence and organizing for action.”

“To these defendants, politics was no longer something for the debating floor or voting booth. To them, politics meant actual physical combat, a battle between good and evil in the most literal sense,” Mulroe said.

“The Capitol was the focus from the start,” he said. “They made it plain as day why they were there. It was not to see Donald Trump’s speech, it was not to protect patriots, it was certainly not to protest peacefully. They were there to threaten and, if necessary, use force to stop the certification of the election.”